Khalid Omer

  • B.S. Computer Science

Khalid Omer headshot

What inspired you to pursue a STEM-based degree? How did you discover your interest in the field?

As someone who has always been fascinated by science and technology, pursuing a STEM-based degree felt like a natural fit for me from a young age. While I had considered careers in various STEM fields such as medicine and math, it was the idea of being able to solve complex problems in computer science that truly drew me to this path. My interest in computer science was sparked during my childhood through playing Roblox and discovering my passion for creating and enjoying software, which ultimately solidified my decision to pursue a degree in this field.


Who within STEM serves as an inspiration for you?

I draw inspirations from individuals like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ben Carson. Although many of my family members are doctors and nurses, I find their dedication to their work and the impact they have on people's lives incredibly inspiring, and it motivates me to make a difference in my own field of study.


How would you describe your experiences as a Black and/or Latino student at the School of Engineering?

I would describe my experiences as both challenging and rewarding. While there are times when I feel anxious about not performing as well as my non-minority peers, I recognize the importance of pushing through these moments.


What courses were challenging for you? How did those courses better prepare you for what’s ahead?

A course that posed a challenge for me was Calculus 1. Calculus 1 was definitely my welcome-to-Tandon course and math being essential in computer science, I was certainly scared for the future. This course forced me to better my study habits to make sure I am always making time to practice math.


What are your research/professional career goals?

After graduation, I hope to become a Software Engineer. While I am open to working in any kind of firm, I am particularly interested in working for a Quant firm. I also plan to pursue a master’s degree while working after graduation.


As an underrepresented minority student, is there something that you recognize more now that you didn’t think of before attending Tandon?

As an underrepresented minority student at Tandon, I have become more aware of the underrepresentation of minorities in the STEM field. As someone who comes from the wealthiest predominantly black county in the country and used to being part of the majority, attending Tandon was a culture shock that made me realize the extent of this underrepresentation.


How important is it for incoming minority students to utilize their resources (i.e. professors, counselors, advisors, tutors, etc.)?

As a minority student, I understand the pressure to excel in college, especially in challenging fields like engineering, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and overworked. However, I've learned that there are resources available to help us succeed, and you should not hesitate to ask for help when needed. It's important to realize that asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness but a strength, and taking advantage of available resources can make a significant difference in achieving academic success.


What advice would you offer to Black and Latino men who are interested in the STEM field?

My advice for Black and Latino men interested in the STEM field would be to stay motivated and persistent, despite potential challenges or obstacles. Try and find someone who shares a similar background as you and has experience in your desired field. Seeing someone who looks like you in a position that you want will be a great source of motivation and guidance.